LEBRON "ACTIVATES" PLAYOFF LEVEL INTENSITY IN 19-PT COMEBACK WIN OVER ROCKETS
LeBron James made waves earlier this week when he stated his playoff level intensity had been “activated”. James’ headline grabbing statement was in response to questions on the Lakers’ ability to earn a postseason berth while being 3 games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot.
The Lakers limped into the All-Star break with a loss to the Hawks who are mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. This ramped up the scrutiny level as the Lakers opened their first game after the All-Star break in LA against reigning MVP and candidate to repeat, James Harden and the Rockets.
Until the middle of the 3rd quarter, this game was a microcosm of the Lakers season as they found themselves behind by 19 points. The playoff level intensity LeBron referred to earlier in the week materialized as he led the Lakers to a comeback 111-106 victory. I’m not a fan of using grandiose statements but the Lakers may have saved their season with this victory. Yes it’s only one game, however, what this does for the mood and confidence of the team going forward has to be a boost. We will see what happens tonight as the Lakers face the New Orleans Pelicans. Ironic, given how the two franchises have been linked over the past couple of weeks.
Besides LeBron’s dominance in the latter part of the game (He finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds), it was a huge positive to see the play of Brandon Ingram who may have played the best game of his young career. Ingram dropped 27 points and hauled in 13 rebounds while leading the team in minutes played with 41. LeBron was second with 40. Sophomore Kyle Kucsma was solid as well, scoring 18.
Let’s see if the Lakers can carry this momentum into their game against the Pelicans, a team in turmoil on the floor and the front office.